When the student becomes the teacher. Growing up in Digital Dragon.
Humble Brag, Proud Parent Moment, Round of High Fives…call it what you want, but I am calling it an unlocked achievement. When we set out to build a business 6 years ago based on the interests of our son, Eli, we never imagined that it would lead to him being a teacher here at Digital Dragon one day. This summer Eli started teaching and has been able to spread his tech knowledge to the next generation.
This journey started for him as a 10 year old hanging out at this new company his parents started. From setting up our computers, to taking classes, he has always had interest on all sides of technology.
We let him open up computers to upgrade memory and check out what makes them tick (thankfully that worked out), and last year he built his own PC. He started playing Minecraft like many kids, became slightly obsessed, and has become quite proficient in playing and making many videos games since. Now that he is teaching Minecraft to the next generation of players, he has come full circle to being slightly obsessed again. Fortnite is so last year!
The interesting thing about watching Eli grow over these past few years, with the exposure to as much tech education as possible, he started to move around and try other aspects of the universe. Creating, shooting, and editing videos in our digital production camps led to a stint in his middle school production class making daily TV content, that ultimately led to photography classes at SMC.
One surprise on this journey was when Eli started waning from the programming side of creating apps and leaning more to the design and entrepreneurship side. He began by tooling around in Photoshop and Illustrator, which led to helping friends (and clients) make logos, Shapchat profiles, and film festival posters. With a blink of the eye, he has now completed 2 years of Digital Design classes in high school.
So for him to now be a teacher here is a super proud, humblebrag moment. We know his love for tech education (and products) and entrepreneurship will help him as he navigates his future, in college and in the subsequent job market.
TLDR; Exposure, exposure, exposure. My confession is I don’t have all the answers, but what I’ve learned is to let your kids try a bunch of different things, and support them doing the activities that really interest them. Create opportunities for them to become good at stuff, give them the time to have obsessions, and let them quit what they don’t like too! The road is winding and who knows where it will lead.
By: Laurie Kantor Finn, Dragon Lady/Co-Founder, Digital Dragon